Housing Needs for the Families of Sick Patients (by Natalie Shelton)

 The research question I have chosen to focus on is; what is being done for families who have loved ones in the hospital?  The research I have gathered for my culminating project is a combination of information about why family and funding for the places that support people who have loved ones in the hospital is so important. 

Culminating Project Part I:

Article #1


I originally found out about Obama giving money to the Fisher House through an article on CNN.  I was able to go to the Fisher House website and find out a bit more about the organization. This organization is specifically for injured veterans and the family of veterans.  It offers a place to stay for them while they heal and family is welcome to stay with the veteran as well all throughout the healing process.  This is an excellent representation of the good that facilities like this do.  Even though The Guest Housing isn’t specifically for veterans, both facilities are vitally important support system for the family of sick patients.

Article #2


This article discusses how most places are trying to go to a new model of care.  They want patients to have easy access to their doctors and this article discusses “patient-centered medical homes” or also known as “community based medical care.”  The theory behind this new model of care is that if patients have easier access to their primary care physician they are less likely to have major health issues because most medical problems should be detected early on.  Providence is in a huge shift right now and they are actually in the process of switching to this model of healthcare.  Since The Guest Housing is a Providence facility some of the information in this article could be very persuasive in depicting the importance of housing for families.

Article #3



The first link is to the website for The California Healthcare Foundation and the second link is to a booklet they have on the importance of family when a family member is sick.  There is tons of great information in here as to why family is so important when a family member is sick and also a basically a “how to” guidebook.  This article illustrates why the importance of family in a healthcare setting is so important.

Article #4


This article is from The National Alliance on Mental Illness website.  At The Guesthousing we see a lot of people who are seeking treatment at the hospital for mental health issues and are staying at The Guesthousing since it’s just across the street from the hospital.  This article addresses the issue of how vital family is during this transition time.

Culminating Project Part II:

For my public writing I have decided to focus on what’s being done to help those who have loved ones in the hospital.  It’s not a very well known issue that people face, until they are put into that position themselves.  I have chosen to post to a couple of well known blogs in order to get the word out about the difficulty people face when loved ones are sick.  Here is a link to a blog I am considering posting to, Willamette Weekly; http://www.wweek.com/portland/blogs-1-1-1-2.html.


When you get a dreaded phone call that an out of town loved one is sick and in the hospital the last thing you think of is housing needs.  All you want to do is rush to the side of your loved one and be there to support them.  But having housing for the families who have loved ones in the hospital is vitally important.  When a family member is ill the last thing people should worry about is where to lay their head at night.  A local organization I volunteer for not only provides a place to stay, but they help to provide emotional stability in an emotionally traumatizing time.  Most people don’t even know facilities like this exist until they are faced with the reality of finding housing during an emotional time.  The family of patients have been known to sleep in chairs at the hospital believing they had nowhere else to turn or afraid because they couldn’t afford a hotel room.  Far too few of these facilities exist; change starts with a single voice wanting to make a difference.  There needs to be more facilities out there geared towards helping these people.


Writing an essay you know lots of people are going to read is a little nerve wracking.  I think it’s because I am writing for people that are outside of our class safety net which made me take a pause and think about what I was writing.  I wrote a few different versions of the letter; never thinking what I was writing was good enough.  It was a whole different experience than just writing something for class.


One comment

  1. Natalie
    You have such great information here I enjoyed reading it, and I want to print off your articles for future reference. I didn’t know about the Fishers House. I am really interested in your Article 2 that sates… This article discusses how most places are trying to go to a new model of care. They want patients to have easy access to their doctors and this article discusses “patient-centered medical homes” or also known as “community based medical care.”

    I am a Medical Assistant and have been for 17 years and it is amazing how the medical field has changed since I started. I work for a clinic right now and I am their Clinic Care supervisors and one of the things I am doing is getting our clinic certified as a tier three Medical Home. It is amazing all the things you need to do to qualify. I think this is such a great thing for patients to be able to access their care in one place. This provides a great Continuity of care for the Patient in regards to all their health Needs.

    What inspired you to research and write about this?
    What do you do currently do in your current career?
    Will you continue to volunteer and research this topic?

    I am very excited I was paired with you, thank you for sharing I learned some new things, you did a great job!


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